Y Combinator is probably the most famous startup program worldwide. They help early-stage startups succeed and grow to become huge companies. They have tons of success stories like Airbnb, Reddit, Dropbox, Quora, and many others.
YC Startup School:
This year, YC opened up a new class for entrepreneurs to join all over the world. All applications were accepted and over 10’000 startups joined the program. I was happy to join too and meet other founders here in San Francisco. In a few weeks, it has already been very helpful!
This is how it works:
- The program last 10 weeks
- There are 3 lessons every week. Those presentations are recorded and publicly shared online. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQ-uHSnFig5NVnJ_cLWM7dLuMQRDeekoX
- You must submit your progress every single week. Progress is measured by one unique metric which helps me focus on the essential.
- You are attributed to a group of founders with whom you meet every week
- Bonus: 100 startups from those 10k participants will receive a grant of USD 10’000.-
Learning never stops so here are some inputs from YC:
- Focusing on the right problem is the genius part of thinking of startup ideas. Getting to the right solution is part of the execution.
- A problem is measured by its intensity VS frequency. A problem does not necessarily mean it pisses you off. A problem is a job to be done and its size is measured by how much time/money/efforts you invest in substitutes and how often you need this job to be done. (Example: Going from a place A to B is something we do often and we are ready to invest large amounts in a car to get this job done)
- If you haven’t launched, you have nothing yet. The real journey starts when you get your first customer feedback. Before that, you are just creating assumptions and building on top of them.
- Making something people love is the single most important thing for founders. You only know that if you talk to customers. This advice seems so simple but this is the most common reason why startups die.
- Once you make something people really love, customers start beating a path to your door. Keep the feedback-build loop very short, ideally 2 weeks. That way, you can improve your product really fast and make sure you are on the right track.